The 51st Dadasaheb Phalke Award will be conferred upon actor Rajinikanth for his immense contribution in the field of Indian cinema, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday.
"Happy to announce the Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2020 to one of the greatest actors in the history of Indian cinema Rajnikant. His contribution as actor, producer and screenwriter has been iconic," Javadekar said in a tweet.
Singers Asha Bhosle and Shankar Mahadevan, actors Mohanlal and Biswajeet, and filmmaker Subhash Ghai were among the jurors who selected Rajinikanth for the award.
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is India’s highest film honour.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated the Tamil superstar for winning the award. "Popular across generations, a body of work few can boast of, diverse roles and an endearing personality…that’s Shri @rajinikanth Ji for you. It is a matter of immense joy that Thalaiva has been conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Congratulations to him (sic)," he tweeted.
Replying to the PM, the actor tweeted, "Immensely humbled and honoured with your greetings and the most prestigious #DadasahebPhalkeAward award respected and dearest Shri @narendramodiji. My heartfelt thanks to you and the government of India."
Superstar Rajinikanth began his acting career with a brief phase of portraying antagonistic characters in Tamil films. He made his film debut with K. Balachander’s 1975 Tamil drama Apoorva Raagangal. The Suresh Krissna-directed Baashha (1995) in which Rajinikanth played a crime boss, was a major commercial success in his career and earned him a ‘god-like’ status in Tamil Nadu.
The announcement came just six days ahead of Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu. The Assembly elections will be held in a single phase on April 6 and the counting of votes will be done on May 2. As many as 6,28,23,749 electors will choose candidates for the sixteenth Legislative Assembly in Tamil Nadu.
Amid the speculations about his entry into politics, Rajinikanth had in December last year announced that he will not enter electoral politics due to his health issues and will not contest the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls.
Report by Chetali S M
Reported on – 01/04/2021
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